Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton
EngineeringOur research

Contact Profilometers

nCATS Facility has two contact-based profilometers.  The first is laboratory-based system: Taylor-Hobson Talysurf 120L and the second is a portable system Surtronic S100.

Return to main nCATS facility page

nCATS Facility has two contact-based profilometers.  The first is laboratory-based system: Taylor-Hobson Talysurf 120L and the second is a portable system Surtronic S100.  The portable system offers the ability to measure surfaces not accessible to the laboratory system, such as very large objects or fixed emplacements, this has been used on rail lines.

Both systems employ a contacting stylus with a hard tip that runs over the measurement surface, the deflection of the stylus is recorded and the roughness and form can be assessed.

Taylor Hobson Form Talysurf 120L surface analyzer. This device employs a 120 mm traverse unit and a HeNe laser interferometric transducer.

The equipment is a computer-controlled stylus-based surface measurement machine, that has two-axis of control, X (horizontal) and Z (vertical) directions. During operation, the sample is placed on a platform below the stylus, the stylus is lowered until it makes contact with the surface of the sample then it is pulled along while measurements of the height variation are obtained. This information is recorded and can process to measure surface roughness and form. Measurements on tribological worn samples can also be used determine wear depth.

Taylor-Hobson 120L surface profilometer
Taylor-Hobson 120L surface profilometer

Specifications for Taylor-Hobson 120L:

ParameterValue
Traverse Speed 10 mm/s maximum
Measuring Speed  1 mm/s and 0.5 mm/s ±5%
Return Speed up to 5 mm/s
Gauge Type 6 mm Laser Stylus range
Measuring Range 10 mm
Resolution       12.8 nm @ 10mm range
Range to Resolution Ratio 780,000:1
Straightness Accuracy

0.5 µm over 120 mm traverse

0.2 µm over 20 mm traverse

Data Resolution 0.25 µm

The Surtronic S100 portable Surface Finish Meter offers a versatile solution for your roughness measurement requirements. Features include a large ruggedized display, long-life batteries and simple menu structure. The Surtronic can be used either freestanding (on horizontal, vertical or even inverted surfaces) or bench mounted with fixturing for batch surface roughness measurement and laboratory applications.

The 50mm stylus lift with right angle attachment and over 70mm stylus reach ensure that even the most challenging surface can be measured without the need for expensive fixturing. Anti-slip V-feet allow the Surtronic to be used on flat or curved surfaces.

The Surtronic S100 is extremely durable, featuring impact resistant rubberised mouldings surrounding a recessed, high durability touchscreen.

Surtronic S100 measuring leaf films on rail tracks
Surtronic S100 portable profilometer

Technical Data

  S128 modelS116 model 
 Gauge range:   400µm  200µm
 Resolution:  50nm  100nm
 Noise Floor (Ra):  150 nm  250nm
 Repeatability (Ra):  0.5% of value + noise  1% of value + noise
 Traverse Length:  0.25-25mm  0.25-12.5mm

 

 

Useful Downloads

Need the software?PDF Reader

Below is a list of the most commonly used surface finish parameters, note R can be also be S in 3D roughness.

 Parameter Meaning 
 Ra  Arithmetic Mean Deviation
 Rq  Root mean square
 Rv  Maximum depth of profile below the mean line within the sampling length
 Rp  Maximum depth of profile above the mean line within the sampling length
 Rt  Total height of profile
 Rsk  Skewness
 Rku  Kurtosis
 Rz  Average peak to valley height
 Rsm  Mean width of profile elements
Privacy Settings